Andy Murray will resume his rivalry with Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters on Saturday.
Murray was forced to work hard for his 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Radek Stepanek, negotiating a shaky start to power past the world number 41, but the US Open champion remains on course for a third successive Shanghai Masters title.
Top seed Federer enjoyed a more comfortable passage into the semi-finals after brushing aside Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-3 6-4.
The Swiss needed only 82 minutes to crush Cilic and claim the 871st win of his career. Murray and Federer have met 17 times in the past with the Scot leading 9-8.
The world number one will be desperate for a measure of revenge, however, after he was thumped by Murray in the gold medal singles encounter at London 2012.
The second semi-final will see Novak Djokovic meet Tomas Berdych with both players enjoying straight sets passage out of the last eight.
Second seed Djokovic dispatched Tommy Haas 6-3 6-3, denying the German the 500th victory of his career, while Berdych downed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
"It's always a big challenge when you're playing a top 10 player, especially an established one," Djokovic said.
"Tomas has been winning against top players on different surfaces in the last couple of years, so he knows how to play big moments.
"It's going to be tough, but I've been playing well, too. So I'll try to look for my chances tomorrow from the baseline and see how it goes."